I am not sure how much you know about JD's past, but let me start by saying it really was not the easiest of adolescent passages. He was physically struck by football "team mates", called "dirty Mexican, had his gear taken and broken, called "Radio" by coaches and team mates and much more.
They spent time talking to him about what High School and sports meant to them. They didn't spend the time talking about the two football
championships they attended, but the lifelong friends and relationships they formed. Through lots of tears (mostly mine) we concluded that it was time to make a drastic change.
From day one everyone at JFK welcomed JD with such warmth. He grew not only in physical size (5' 9" to 6'), but I watched, as he became a great young man. A friend approached me one night to ask me, "what is up with JD?". She said that for years she would try to converse with him, but he would shyly look down and away as he spoke softly. She said that HE actually approached her to say hello looking her in the eye and shaking her hand!! She too noticed his physical change and obvious confidence.
One afternoon Frank and I took some of the boys to lunch. As they finished and prepared to leave I nearly came to tears as I watched Ramon , JR, Daniel, and JD as they stood and hugged each other saying, "l love you man, see you tomorrow". That is a teammate, and those are the friends and relationships that Marcos and Brad talked about.
JD is now passing his classes, and is looking at going to COLLEGE!!! I tell this story to as many people as will listen, and it still brings me to tears to realize just how far he has come. He never quit and for that he has become such a strong young man.
One day after practice JD came to the car with food once again. I asked him where he got it, and he said, " From coach Randy, because he loves me" . I asked how he knew that and he said, "Because he told me".
JD made a goal during the summer to become Tri-River Conference defensive lineman of the year. He didn't accomplish that goal, but I know as I watched him play with hamstring pulls, fractures, and pneumonia he played to the best of his ability every game, ond he NEVER QUIT!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!
When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, when care is pressing you down a bit, Rest! if you must; but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns, As everyone of us sometimes learns, And many a failure turns about when he might have won had he stuck it out
Often the goal is nearer than It seems to a faint and faltering man, Often the struggler has given up When he might have captured the victor's cup.
Success is failure turned inside out; The silver tint of the clouds of doubt